Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 5: Juneau

Big plans for Juneau. The highlight of our trip was a helicopter ride to Mendenhall glacier and a dog mushing excursion. I've never been on a helicopter before, much less mushed a dog, and you know what? I still haven't. Our good weather finally came to an end today. I've been saying for most of the trip that the scenery looked a lot like what we see back home in Portland. Today I was saying that the weather looked a lot like what we see back in Portland. Our helicopter/dog sledding trip was called off because the helicopters weren't flying due to poor visibility.

This is the state capital of Alaska. I'm guessing that from here Sarah Palin used to gaze off to the west and keep an eye on Russia for us. Although not on days like today, what with the fog and all.

Heather and I got the opportunity to walk around the town a bit. I'm thinking that the jewelers gauntlet is going to be a familiar sight by the time we finish with this cruise. I guess Alaska is where they keep the worlds tanzanite supply. Juneau seems like a nice place, and I did get to support a local book seller and that always makes me feel good. Thanks Hearthside Books and Toys. It was good to find a bookstore to wander through on a grey and foggy day.

We got back to the ship and were able to schedule another excursion. A rafting trip from Mendenhall lake to see Mendenhall glacier and then a float down the Mendenhall river. This trip was a lot of fun. Cameron has never been on a rafting trip before, and by happy coincidence one of his friends from the boat was also on the trip with his family. The two boys sat together and had a great 11 year old time. I know this because I was sitting next to them, rolling my eyes, for most of the trip. Good kids.

We didn't bring our camera because we were told over and over again that we were going on a rafting trip down rapids and there would be water. Rain gear was being provided and we should plan on getting wet. I've been rafting on the Deschutes river and I remember how wet we got then, so I gladly left the camera in the stateroom.

The highlight of the trip was a bald eagle that we ended up following down river for about half a mile. We disturbed him while he was bathing near shore and we got to within 30 feet before he took off and landed on a large rock just at the head of the Mendenhall river. This was the same rock that we were headed for to set us up for the first leg of our river float. The eagle stayed on that rock as we approached, and then bumped against the rock. That put the eagle about 10-12 feet away from us before he lifted off and glided down river. He landed close to shore, again where we were headed. Quick, grab a camera! ARGH!! No Camera! Stupid at your own risk tours! Our tour guide told us that we were rafting through "early class 3" rapids. I've been through worse in the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland.

Oh well, it was still a good time. Seeing a bald eagle up that close was really cool.

We finished up with the tour without anyone being tossed overboard, thank goodness. Then we made it back to the boat without incident. dinner that night was at Triton's which is on deck 3 midship. They had a cocktail that was blue. You can tell that I'm an experienced drinker by the way I describe my drinks. This one was blue, strong, and I had two of them. Very tasty.

After dinner Cameron disappeared to The Edge and Heather and I took the opportunity to go see ventriloquist Ronn Lucas at an adult only show on deck 3 forward. Very much funny. It was a fantastic show. I would recommend his show if you get a chance to see it. Some adult content, but, well come on, it's a Disney cruise.

Tonights towel animal, in honor of Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides (which is playing onboard),

Captain Jack Towel Animal. Kudos to Rellano our steward.

Tomorrows destination?

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